Aloha. I am just settling down after a long day of travel to Hawaii. Tonight, I find myself on Mauna Kea, a very large volcano on “the big island” of Hawaii. My job brought me here where we’re field testing a robotic mining and materials analysis laboratory. The robotic miner is small and mobile with hope that one day, we land it on another planet. But for now, a volcano will have to suffice. Here’s a view of Mauna Kea from our plane:
We Stopped for some shopping and dinner before we took the 2-hr drive up the volcano. The landscape here is very interesting. Large expanses of rough ancient lava fields with grasses and colorful flowers slowly trying to turn it into something that looks alive. Saw several lava tubes before it got dark.
We’re staying at a Hostel/Dormitory owned by the University of Hawaii. There are many telescopes on top of Mauna Kea from around the world. The hostel has common rooms for socializing, watching TV and playing pool. There is a large dining area with some food available 24hrs. It’s very remote and quiet. I was told the view of the night sky would be impressive, but I had no idea. A few steps away from the light of the building, the sky reveals the most stars I have ever seen. It is incredible. The milky way is clearly visible with the naked eye. Very cool.